Out Taking Pictures 

While I was in Greece, my inner photographer came out and I was able to take some amazing pictures. I think it had much more to do with the subject matter than any latent talent I have, but it was fun for me. I really have no photography skills and the only camera I used for these pictures was my iPhone 6, but I tried my best to capture the beauty of this country. I couldn’t fit them all in to my other Greece posts, so I thought I would do one post with just some of my favorite photos from the month we spent in Greece. To break it up for you, I thought I would also intersperse some interesting facts and quotes about Greece.  Enjoy!

Did you know the people of Greece don’t consider themselves “Greek”?  One of the first nights on Naxos we went out with the couple downstairs and he was quick to correct me when I referred to them as Greek.  He told me how he hated that term.  “It sounds like something you get on your hands while fixing a car.  Dirty grease!  We are Hellenic!”  With the language barrier and my own ignorance, I have to admit I didn’t know what he was really saying until I made it home that night and looked it up.  Greece’s official name is The Hellenic Republic and is also known as Hellas.  The people consider themselves Hellenic and at least Eddie from downstairs doesn’t really care for the term Greek.

Approximately 16.5 million tourists visit Greece each year, more than the country’s entire population which is about 11 million.

Angry citizens or those who don’t care for their candidates cannot abstain from voting. Voting is required by law for every citizen 18 or older.

Greek men must serve from one year to 18 months in any branch of the Armed Forces.

Nearly 80% of Greece is mountainous.  It has no navigable rivers.

Retirement homes are rare in Greece. Grandparents usually live with their children’s family until they pass away. Most young people live with their families until they marry.

Soccer (called football in Greece) is the national sport.

The capital of Greece is Athens.  It has been standing for 7000 years, making it one of the oldest cities in Europe.

98% of Greeks are Greek Orthodox

The saying “Take the bull by the horns” comes from a Greek myth in which the hero Hercules saves the island of Crete from a raging bull by seizing it by its horn.

Greece has more than 2000 Islands, of which, approximately 170 are populated.

No matter where you are in Greece, you’ll never be further than 85 miles from the coast. The country has about 9,000 miles of coastline, the 10th longest in the world.

The ritual of toasting originated with the Greeks.  Traditionally, the host would take the first sip to prove to his guests that they would not be poisoned.

Greek has been spoken for over 3000 years, which makes it one of the oldest European languages.

Underground burial usually only lasts for five years in Greece. After which the bodies are dug up, bathed in wine and the bones are kept in an ossuary.

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Greece is the leading producer of sea sponges and the third leading producer in the world of olives

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The beautiful blue you see doors, church domes, windowsills and more painted is called kyanos and is thought to ward off evil

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Greeks do not wave with an open hand.  In fact, it is considered an insult so they wave with their palm closed.

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Greece has been said to have been around long enough to have tried every form of government

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The beauty, history, and culture of Greece will forever hold a special place in my heart.

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